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Old 11-17-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicYouth View Post
I can see your point. I love living in Carroll Gardens, the restaurants on Smith Street, Lucali, the old Italians, the brownstones, etc. but I get a sense that it (as well as Cobble Hill, the Heights, and less so Boerum Hill) have become so obsessed with their Brooklyn authenticity that they ironically risk becoming as "cutesified" and self-absorbed as large swaths of Manhattan have. I haven't lived in the city long enough to have a genuine perspective, but is this the general consensus, or the usual process that more desirable neighborhoods undergo? If so, I'd guess that, like you said, Astoria has been spared the suffocating gentrification (or at least it's been slowed) by Queens' kind of back water, working class reputation, as opposed to Brooklyn's more urban, mob-legend, Italian history which is generally more appealing to the people that might bring the process about. Am I correct in thinking that?
I'm not sure why Brooklyn got gentrified and Queens didn't. Partly I think Queens historically was always been seen as more of a suburb and I'm not sure if Brooklyn was seen in the same way. If you are interested in learning some of the history, you could check out the developers, including Edward McDougal in the early 1900s, who started buying up farmland in Queens in anticipation of the building of the Queensborough bridge.
here is a link with some old photos
qplaza (http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/queensplaza/qplaza.html - broken link)
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:58 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,296 posts, read 4,516,101 times
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I'm not sure why Brooklyn got gentrified and Queens didn't ... A very interesting question.

You may think this is cuckoo but I think people became aware of Brooklyn (particularly the brownstone neighborhoods) from The Cosby Show.

I was working in Downtown Brooklyn in the late 80s/ early 90s and remember the transition of neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. In terms of their socioeconomic composition, these neighborhoods weren't much different from Astoria -- mainly hard working white families who owned their homes -- except that in Brooklyn they owned brownstones, which were more in demand. People bought them cheap, fixed them up and neighborhoods transformed. Latecomers were priced out. The trend in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill began with young professional blacks who left their parents homes in places like SE Queens and the 'burbs, and moved to brownstone apartments in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy. As real estate prices rose, many rented for years and they unfortunately became priced out as well.

Ask someone who grew up in NYC in the 60s - early 80s if they could afford to buy the house they lived in -- the answer is often NO, which is just awful.

Anyway, for convenience to Manhattan, nothing makes more sense than Astoria/LIC but these neighborhoods don't have (and may never have) the poshness of Brooklyn -- but that's okay because it should keep prices in line and give the real middle class a nice place to live without having a 1+ hour commute from Manhattan. I think that LIC has enormous potential but it still has yet to figure itself out. It could be a great place to expand higher ed since land is scarce in Manhattan, or to become a center for a specific business sector, like technology. Hotels could probably do well there too, given the transportation alternatives and proximity to Manhattan, but we'll see.

Maybe if someone makes a TV show about a family living in an industrial loft apartment in LIC, it'll generate some buzz.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:14 AM
 
3,225 posts, read 7,497,556 times
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Default just a matter of my opinion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicYouth View Post
I'm not trying to be incendiary, just genuinely curious and wondering if maybe a current or former resident could explain to me what's so great about Astoria as opposed to comparable neighborhoods, either in Queens or the other boroughs. Thanks.
1. Proximity to Manhattan for work, entertainment, pleasure.

2. Mixture of inhabitants - liberals, moderates, conservatives; midwesterners, immigrants; yuppies, working class, middle class; young, middle-aged, older.

3. Restaurants of every major ethnicity and type - indoor diners, outdoor cafes, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, American diners, etc.

4. Lacks pretentiousness of many parts of Brooklyn; does not feel need to compete with Manhattan for top draw; accepts it is not Manhattan, proud that it is in Queens - one of the most exciting, dynamic, and awesome places on the planet.

5. Bohemian Beer Garden.

5. Neatly arranged, well-kept row houses off the subway streets considered serene and beautiful by those not seeking to have replicas of Manhattan style luxury homes or architecture on every block.

6. Self-contained environment fit for shopping, dining, working, studying without need to run into Manhatatn at the drop of a hat.

7. While expensive, rents and home prices still cheaper than in Manhattan and some parts of Brooklyn.

8. Presence in a very suburban looking borough appeals to many who want a city vibe a stone's throw away...but like to come home to a less hectic ambiance.


Bottom Line: beauty is in the eye of the beholder...Astoria is not for everyone; for many, it's as great and convenient a place to live or hang out as any to be found in NYC.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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Astoria is a nice clean, safe, fun, family oriented neighborhood that is affordable. My friend lives off of ditmars and 31st street and i can honestly say there is a lot of neighborhood pride.
The streets are always clean, there are a lot of young families in the area, and not to mention a huge amount of good schools.
Everything you need is right around the corner....
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Historic Downtown Jersey City
2,705 posts, read 7,102,483 times
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Brownstone Brooklyn gentrified because the housing stock is attractive...the brownstones are architecturally attractive when compared to a lot of other outer borough NYC neighborhoods.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Astoria, Queens, you know the scene
750 posts, read 2,130,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC_Rose View Post
Astoria is a nice clean, safe, fun, family oriented neighborhood that is affordable. My friend lives off of ditmars and 31st street and i can honestly say there is a lot of neighborhood pride.
The streets are always clean, there are a lot of young families in the area, and not to mention a huge amount of good schools.
Everything you need is right around the corner....
Yes. The best thing about Astoria is that all the different ethnicities get along and we have great pride in the neighborhood. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more diverse neighborhood in NYC and maybe even in the country. It's a beautiful thing to see a Middle Eastern hookah spot next to an Italian pizzeria next to a Greek bakery, next to an Indian restaurant next to a Thai place next to a Colombian clothing store. Walk along Steinway and you will see exactly what Astoria and Queens is about - an inclusive yet diverse community.
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